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Swim Fins And Their Development

swim finsOne thing that is common to those who enjoy scuba diving, swimming, and snorkeling is a good pair of swim fins.  These fins give a person the ability to easily swim through the water without excreting too much energy and quickly fatiguing.  Swim fins are, however, not a modern invention.  Many are truly surprised to learn that they have been around for more than 200 years.  The man who is credited with creating the first set of swim fins is inventor and statesman, Benjamin Franklin.

The first set of swim fins Ben made were actually made from wood.  He made them when he was only 12 years old.  Ben was interested in finding a way to help him swim faster and noticed the webbed feet that frogs possessed.  A light bulb went off in his head and he carved a simple pair of hand held swim paddles out of wood.  His designed worked and quickly caught on.  It didn’t take long for others to make refinements to his design to the foot worn fins that we have today.

A man named Louis de Corlieu made some major changes to Franklin’s basic swim fin design in 1935.  He changed the material they were made from from wood to vulcanized rubber.  In addition, he made them so they could be worn on the feet instead of being hand held.  These small changes made a very big difference.

Swim fins have definitely come a long day since they were first conceived in Ben Franklin’s mind.  There are now many different companies that make these fins in a wide variety of styles and designs.  A lot of the newer (and more expensive) swim fins on the market have been carefully designed to maximize swim efficiency while cutting down on the amount of energy used to swim.  Whether you purchase your fins as part of a snorkel set or by themselves, there is definitely no shortage of options to choose from.

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